Current China’s One-Child Policy
Current China’s One-Child Policy
On October 31st, 2011, with a particular enfant born, the population of the world reached seven billion. Once again, population problems have aroused concerns in all circles of the society, which is also a big problem to China. As we all know, “With just over 1.3 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country. China represents a full 20% of the world’s population so one in every five people on the planet is a resident of China” (Rosenberg). After 32 years of carrying the One-Child policy in China, it has had important effects on Chinese younger generations and families, causing both positive and negative consequences for the society. Considering the side effects derived from the One-Child policy, the current situations about the policy implement have slightly changed. China’s One-Child Policy is based on the Family Planning policy, which calls for young couples “later children bearing, greater spacing between children, and fewer children” (Hesketh, Li, and Zhu 1172). Considering the population carrying capacity, the stability of the country, and the development of economy, “in September 1980, the government formally adopted the “One-Child policy” and a target population of 1.2 billion in the year 2000” (Naughtonn 185). After 32 years, the One-Child policy has tremendous impacts on China. In some respects, the policy has been highly successful and brings about advantages. The direct positive consequence is the success of limiting the population growth. According to Chinese authorities, as for now, “the policy has prevented 250 to 300 million births” (Hesketh, Li, and Zhu 1172), which is approximate to what they estimated before; meanwhile, the fertility rate has decreased, “from 2.9 in 1979 to 1.7 in 2004” (Hesketh, Li, and Zhu 1172). Because the current total fertility rate, which means how many children born by per woman, “in urban areas is 1.3 compared with 2.0 in rural areas” (Hesketh, Li, and Zhu 1172), it shows that urban families with predominantly one child while rural families with two. The reduction of population and fertility rate proves that the basic purpose of the One-Child policy, which is to control the growth of population, has been achieved. And considering that Chinese population is occupied over one fifth in the world, the policy is also beneficial to solve the world’s population problems. Although the One-Child policy brings about several advantageous results, there are many severe unanticipated negative consequences. First of all, the policy causes a high rise of sex ration of births and an extremely gender imbalance. Because Chinese families are under the limited one-child pressure and influenced by the traditional idea that only men can continue the family line, Chinese parents have preference for giving birth to sons rather than daughters. And in some circumstances they choose the abortion of unwanted girls (Naughtonn 189). Ebenstein finds that “In China, the number of “missing girls” among children aged 0-18 increased from 4.3 million to 9.2 million between the 1990 and 2000 census.” (94), and “due to the reduction of girls, China has a high imbalanced sex ratio, 120.8:100, compared with the normal range that the relative number of boys per 100 to girls is 106:100 in the group of 0-4 years old.” (92). From Hesketh and other authors’ view, there is no doubt that China will have a “female deficit” (1173) in the future, and this result could influence the social stability (1173). Because of the scarcity of women, men are hard to find ideal mates, which causes marriage problem in the society. Moreover, the shortage of women stimulates several social crimes. In order to satisfy the need of mates from men, women are made use of as a tool to earn money. Some of them are kidnapped by traffickers and then forced to marry men or have illegal commercialized sex...
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Hesketh, Therese, Li Lu, and Zhu Wei Xing. “The Effect of China’s One-Child Family Policy after 25 Years.” The New England Journal of Medicine 353 (2005): 1171-76.
Naughtonn, Barry. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2007.
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